As usual, I’m trying to pick a Book of the Year, as in, books I read in 2020. Last year I gave up asking for your help, as you reply you haven’t read them. That never stops me voting for Goodreads Books of the Year.

My 5 Star Reads of 2020

My starting point is all those books I gave five stars to on Goodreads. I give more stars on Amazon, because they define 5 stars differently. Amazon still haven’t noticed that now they own Goodreads.

It’s a long list, 25 of them. But it is about average for me, out of 60 books read, I suppose.

I think these can be broken into five categories. I think dividing the fiction into novella/short stories; middle grade, fantasy, and science fiction captures everything except the Year Without Summer, which is about characters caught up in the year when the atmospheric pollution from Mount Krakatoa meant crops failed and the weather went mad. So I guess its a historical science-based fiction? A clifi novel, even? Clutching at straws! So with four non-fiction books in there, five categories. Oh. I’m putting African Me in with … novellas. Although it’s not, but it’s not long.

Middle Grade

From What Stars Are Made of; A Girl Called Justice; Unbroken; A Pony for Quarantine; A Dog for Lockdown; and the Wide Awake Loons, the winner is…

A Dog for Lockdown by Clare O’Beara; special mention for What Stars Are Made Of.

Novella/Short Stories

From Witchlet, Near +Far, Leaves of Fall, African Me & Satellite TV, To Be Taught, If Fortunate. This is so hard…

Leaves of Fall by Patricia Josephine, by a whisker from To Be Taught

Science Fiction

From Year Without Summer, Reclamation, The Long Way Home, A Heaven for Toasters, Seeing Red,…

A Heaven for Toasters by Nicholas C Rossis, with special mention for Year Without Summer


From Fall of Onagros, Storyteller and her Sisters, Steerswoman, Thief of Time, and Stranger Times. Oh, this is practically impossible. I’ve added sequels for all of them to my TBR (or will once the sequel to Stranger Times is announced)

Fall of Onagros by Marian Allen, with special mention to all the others

Non-Fiction and Book of the Year

From Saffron, Marram, Meadowland and A Life on Our Planet.

Although Saffron gave me a wonderful Leek and Saffron Soup recipe for my Christmas Dinner, there’s really one that stands head and shoulders above the others, for importance as well as information, writing clarity and engagement.

A Life on Our Planet by Sir David Attenborough (National Treasure)

Which, in the end, is also my Book of the Year.


I’d like to thank Netgalley and their publisher clients for all the great books in 2020, especially What the Stars are Made of, To Be Taught, If Fortunate, the Year Without Summer, the Stranger Times, Marram and A Life on our Planet.

If anyone would like a chance of winning any of these in paperback format, have a go at my January 2021 Giveaway!

Book of the Year 2020 – decision time!
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5 thoughts on “Book of the Year 2020 – decision time!

  • 8 January, 2021 at 11:56 am

    Loved seeing your list. I haven’t read any of these. I’d have a hard time narrowing down my books to the best ones like you.

    • 8 January, 2021 at 12:58 pm

      Just starting with those I gave five stars to is the key.

  • 8 January, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    I can’t do it. I don’t even give stars, just opinions! (I have to do stars when I post reviews on Amazon, to be sure, but I only do that for certain books). But now I have a whole list of books to consider adding to my TBR pile! (Some no doubt are already there).

  • 8 January, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    I’ve still to read A Life on our Planet by our national treasure and although I tend to shy away from science fiction I’m tempted by A Heaven for Toasters as you gave it five stars.

    • 8 January, 2021 at 7:28 pm

      It not spaceships, so you may like it more.

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